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Cats need only be provided with decent shelter, food and water and they will be quite healthy most of the time. Like any other living thing, however, they can get sick and can come down with anything from a minor cold to a major ailment.
As a responsible pet owner, you want to make sure you feed your cat premium cat food so he can be his healthiest and also watch your cat closely for signs of sickness so that you can get him to a vet right away. Hopefully most ailments will be minor, but in some cases getting your cat expedient veterinary help can be the difference between life and death.
Some things to look for include:
Your cats coat - is it full and shiny or dull and patchy? Is he shedding abnormally? If so get your cat scheduled for a vet visit.
Behavior - is your cat acting sluggish and not eating? Any change in behavior warrants a trip to the vet as it is better to be safe then sorry!
Diarrhea or vomiting - If your cat is doing either of these for more than a day, I would get him to the vet as soon as you can. Coughing - Some cats routinely cough up hairballs, but if your cat is coughing for no reason then you should have this checked out.
Swelling or lumps - when you pet your cat, take the time to feel around for any unusual lumps or swelling.
To insure that your cat doesn't fall victim to disease, you should make sure he has all of his vaccinations as recommended by your vetrenarian. The most devastating but easiest to prevent disease that affects cats is infectious enteritis, or feline distemper. This is a virus disease that strikes quickly and leaves little time to enact treatment.
Feline Leukemia or FeLV is another deadly disease that can be prevented through early vaccinations. This disease poses no threat to humans but can be spread between cats. These days, it is treatable and some cats can live a long life with Feline Leukemia although you would want to be very careful to keep them away from other cats so as not to spread the disease.
One health problem in cats, particulary those that go outdoors is worms. A cat with worms usually has a lackluster coat and can either have a large appetite or none at all. There are many kinds of worms, and cats are susceptible to all of them. Cats can get worms from lice or fleas or in the organs of the rodents that the cats eat. Typically the cat ingests the eggs which mature and attach to the intestinal walls. Feeding your cat a bit of garlic every once in a while can protect him against worms.
Keeping your cat happy and healthy is really a simple matter of caring for him properly and making sure he gets the appropriate veterinary care. Make sure your cat gets all the recommended vaccinations and you give him the proper treatments to repel fleas and other pesky pests. These simple steps will keep your cat happy and healthy for a lifetime!
Lee Dobbins writes for ePet Pet Center where you can find lots of articles on cats, dogs, fish, birds and ferrets.
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The Herald-News presents this week's Pets of the Week. Read the caption of each photo to find out about that pet, including where he or she can be adopted.
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